Craftsman RAS query

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Folks -
Well, even tho' the NEW SHO.... er, PATIO is still being fitted, the exodus of tooling is well underway! I've had an old Craftsman RAS (one of the recall ones) under wraps for some time... I would like to put in to use beneath the lumber rack for rough cuts, saving my GOOD saw (Bosch 12" CSMS) for the fine work...
My question is this... I have several sets of the craftsman TS/RAS molding heads with the 3 interchangable cutters... Is it me or does using a molding head on a RAS seem uniquely dangerous? And if it is okay, what precautions should I take. It seems that light cuts, having a FIRM grip on the saw handle and keeping one's own bad self WELL out of the line of fire would be a given.
Since Sears says the cutter head is for use on a RAS, It got me to thinking.... I'd appreciate tips from anyone that has done this set-up, lived to tell about it, and can still count to 10.
TIA
John Moorhead
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Yes. Use a router instead. Molding heads on radial arm saw are probably the most dangerous set up you can get. 42% of all serious woodworking injuries happen on table saws and 7% happen on radial arm saws. However table saws outnumber radial arm saws by 5:1. Most table saw injuries occur when a dado or molding head is put on a table saw. Put a molding head on a RAS along with safety problems the Sears RAS has your asking for trouble. Sounds like a tool buying opportunity. Safety first. If you do it please be careful. By the way my information comes from an article "keeping ten fingers-injury survey pinpoints hazards in the shop" by Paul Bertrelli

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srwood wrote:

What "safety problems" are these?

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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That of course suggests that radial arm saws are safer than table saws, since the injury ratio is 6:1. <g>
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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Well, if you do the math, tables saw injuries are still MORE common than RAS injuries even accounting for the numeric distributions
Having said that, I would agree that moulding heads on a RAS are probably MORE hazardous than moulding heads on a tablesaw
John
wrote:

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wrote:

I concur. And I'm a RAS fan; never have understood why some people seem to think that they're the most dangerous power tool ever invented.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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wrote:

SWMBO's uncle Swears by his RAS for ripping.
OTOH, I find ripping on a RAS to be outside my comfort zone, but crosscutting a dream.
If your budget permits you want both. If not, whatever you learned on will be best for you.
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Make yourself a 6' rip fence and a pushboard for narrow pieces and you love ripping on the RAS!
--
Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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On the TS your board needs to stand straight up against the fence (most of the time) depending on your project and is hard to control, on the RAS the board is always flat on the table and easy to control.
--
Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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My 40 year old Montgomery Ward RAS has a 20,000 rpm arbor shaft for shaper blades. I love it, I love it, I love it! It outperforms my recently purchased Craftsman TS in both quality of cut and versatility. I make my rough cuts with my TS and my finish cuts with my MonkeyWard. So there!
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Using a moulding head on the RAS is fine as long as you have a flat table, a properly aligned saw and follow some common sense procedures. One of the best books for moulding on the radial saw is the "How To Master The Radial saw" ByWally Kunkel available from http://mrsawdust.com
--
Rumpty

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I definitely agree on the flat table and its alignment. I use a RAS, mostly for rough carpentry, and yes even ripping plywood. Mine setup has flat and level table extensions (cabinets) for twelve feet on each end of the saw. The saw and the feed side cabinet extension share a single long fence. The long tables and long common fence greatly reduces problems, especially yaw of the lumber.
Though bolted together, these still are three seperate pieces. Before cuts, I use a cheap laser against the saw fence center to ensure that the tables have not moved. It takes only seconds and pays off. I would also strongly recomend not working with short pieces of lumber when ripping, shaping, etc, even if that means some waste. Being able to keep your hands further away from the blade is worth a lot. I use push sticks when I have to, but longer lumber is easier and safer. For a while I had tension rollers to keep the lumber flat on the table. They seemed to help some, but I decided they were not worth the trouble of readjusting for each different thickness.
I have never had a problem with the saw, but clearly there are ways to make it happen. Keep each end of the saw clear, so that if it binds and pitches lumber across your garage, nothing and nobody is hurt. Keep the floor clear so you can easily walk with the lumber.
The book is a good read. My local library has two of them.
Tom B
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All moulding on the RAS is done with the saw head locked rip position and the work is done as a rip operation.
--
Rumpty

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On Sun, 05 Dec 2004 17:08:26 -0500, Rumpty wrote:

... and when using the dado/molding head behind the fence in the horizontal plane, use the Searz (or proper fitting brand) dado/molding head guard.
As always when ripping with the RAS, feed against the rotation of the cutter and if passing the work under the cutter, set the guard hold down and the antikickback pawls.
-Doug
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On Sun, 05 Dec 2004 20:54:33 GMT, "John Moorhead"

number of threads back and forth on this issue over the past few years. Some people say they have done this for years w/o any problems and others suggest doing this is akin to strolling in front of a local police station in Baghdad waiting for the next bomber to come by. I've used the moulding head on a Sears RAS a few times w/o incident. But it IS scary. Anyway, Sears is well insured (and presently not in bankruptcy, w/ or w/o the Blue Light people, so if you do have an accident, do it soon). FWIW. -- Igor
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Well, Dad trimmed out three houses in the 1960's using his Craftsman RAS and his single blade molding head. My brother used the same setup to make all the trim for two apartments he remodeled a few years ago. I have used a 3 blade molder on my RAS. I prefer doing it on my Shopsmith in tablesaw mode though.
Dave Hall
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Is it me or does using a molding

I have used them on both Table Saws and on RAS....and all I can say is that no matter what saw I have used it SOUNDED...dangerous...
Give me a shaper or a Router anyday... at least I will save money on Toilet paper...
Bob Griffiths.
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On Sun, 05 Dec 2004 18:42:09 -0500, Bob G. wrote:

My headphone style hearing protectors save a bunch on the TP bill ;-)
-Doug
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Check out the drawing I just u/l to ABPW "RAS Moulding". A nice small moulding made with two bits (worth $36 USD) on either a craftsman or delta moulding head on the RAS. How would you make the same moulding with a router? How much would the bit(s) cost for the router?
We make mouldings all the time on the RAS and we still have 10 fingers and we don't carry extra rolls of TP in the men's room! ;-)
--
Rumpty

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Done that a couple of times when I was young and foolish... Perfectly safe IMO for crosscuts. Rips are another matter: it's *very* difficult simultaneously to hold the wood down against the table, *and* hold it back against the fence, *and* feed it through the cutter. This problem is compounded when using narrow stock that's likely to flutter. If it flutters, one of the cutters will catch it and kick it back. DAMHIKT. Some sort of mechanical hold-down is a must.
Using a table saw is a better idea.
A router or a shaper is an even better idea.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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